Property development industry offers support and donations to assist in bushfire recovery

Property development industry offers support and donations to assist in bushfire recovery
Staff reporterDecember 7, 2020

Urban Taskforce CEO Tom Forrest has acknowledged the devastating impacts of the Australian bushfires upon communities, wildlife and property, and praised the generosity of its members in their efforts to support those affected by the drought and by bushfires.

“Urban Taskforce members have been generous in making substantial donations as well as offering professional assistance to those struggling in the aftermath of both the drought and the bushfires”, Forrest said.

Larger members have made substantial donations while smaller members have made offers of pro-bono professional advice and assistance.

Advantaged Care is offering free respite to elderly people affected by the bushfires should they need to seek alternative accommodation arrangements, and Allens is working with Justice Connect to provide free legal help to people and communities affected by the bushfires.

CityPlan Strategy & Development have also offered their support to the Local Government Bushfire Recovery SupportGroup, providing pro-bono assistance with development assessment, land use and development policy, risk based planning and best practice assessment processes and staff training. Similarly, Group GSA will be involved in pro-bono opportunities to contribute time and resources in helping to rebuild bushfire affected communities.

So far, a substantial amount have been donated to the Australian Red Cross from Allens, Bates Smart with $20,000, EP Risk, Lendlease with up to $500,000, McDonalds with $500,000, PTW Architects, the GPT Group.

La Trobe Financial established a Disaster Relief Package which will pay loan interest and charges for 12 months for those who lost their homes to the bushfires.

Donations have also been made by Woolworths and its customers through The Salvation Army and locals with more than $3 million. 

Crown Resorts and the Packer Family Foundation have donated $5 million to bushfire relief charities.

The Perich Group have donated $1 million to the NSW Farmers Natural Disaster Relief fund to help rebuild bushfire affected farms and restore local food and fibre production in south east NSW. Similarly, Holdmark Property Group have pledged $1 million to support farmers.

“These efforts showcase the extent to which the property development sector is an essential and positive part of both our economy and society", Forrest said.

Building construction and related services account for one of the largest sectors in the NSW economy (third largest employment sector after Health and Retail).

"Property developers take the risk on developing land into housing for our growing population, for developing commercial and industrial buildings to accommodate jobs and employment and for employing hundreds of thousands of tradies, labourers, engineers, architects, planners and urban designers.

"As the third largest employment sector in the state, we have been greatly affected by the drought and the fires. Urban Taskforce members are keen to do everything they can to help”, Forrest said.

Forrest added that the services being offered by members to assist in the recovery from the bushfires was growing by the day.

He encouraged all those in communities affected by the bushfires to visit the Urban Taskforce website and see the updated lists of services on offer.

The Urban Taskforce extends its support and sympathy to all those directly and indirectly affected by the fires. We thank the many incredible firefighters, volunteers, emergency service workers and individuals for their efforts to save lives, property and wildlife, Forrest said.

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